Check List for Choosing a Home Care Agency

A home care agency should be selected to meet your individual care needs. The Oregon Association for Home Care (OAHC) can provide you with a list of member agencies which serve your area. The following are a few factors you may want to consider in making a selection. These points are meant to be a guide only. Some points may be more important to you than others.

Is the agency certified by Medicare? Medicare certification means the agency has met federal requirements. Because an agency does not participate in the Medicare program does not mean the agency provides less quality care.

Is the agency accredited? Accreditation is a voluntary process conducted by nonprofit professional organizations stating the agency has met established standards.

Does the agency provide written statements describing services, eligibility requirements, fees and funding sources?

What are the financial arrangements? Can you get them in writing, including visit costs, minimum hour or day requirements the agency may have and any extra charges such as supplies?

How long has the agency been serving the community?

How does the agency select and train its employees, especially nonlicensed caregivers?

Who owns and manages the agency? What type of "governing body" oversees the agency?

Is a professional agency staff member available for phone consultation on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis?

How is the plan of care developed? Does it provide you with a copy of your Rights and Responsibilities?

Does the agency provide supervisory visits to the patient's home and evaluate the quality of care delivered regularly? How is the quality of care evaluated?

What arrangements are made to ensure patient confidentiality?

Does the agency belong to OAHC? OAHC keeps its members up-to-date on industry policies and regulations and provides educational opportunities for all types of caregivers.

Has the agency adopted the OAHC Code of Ethics?

If you have any questions about home care, call the Oregon Association for Home Care at (503) 364-2733.